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"You screwed the pooch hard. Big time. But then you did the right thing: you took the dog to the free clinic, you raised the hybrid puppies... alright, not my best analogy."

Sometimes, a metaphor is a train, taking you from concept A to concept B, maybe at high speed, maybe derailing, and definitely serving overpriced sandwiches.

There's nothing wrong with using a metaphor to explain the situation, but make sure it doesn't derail on you later. Trying to hold to an established metaphor while including added information that doesn't fit it at all... well, that's sillier than wearing a trash can on your head while artistically comparing two unlike concepts.

In other words, a good comedy trope.

The metaphor begins with a solid concept but quickly degenerates into a repetition of the actual situation only projected onto the metaphorical concepts. "You Can't Make an Omelette... without [something much more unpleasant than breaking a few eggs]" seems to be particularly popular, perhaps because it lends itself well to Black Comedy. It is also possible for the metaphorical concept to distract the speaker so that the metaphor is forgotten.

Sometimes the character will realise they've spoilt the metaphor and admit they've lost their train of thought, or perhaps they'll try to reconnect the mess they've made back to the original metaphor, which just prolongs the joke further.

Handily Truth in Television. Has a lot of overlap with Dissimile. Compare Derailed Train of Thought, Analogy Backfire, Sidetracked by the Analogy, "Shaggy Frog" Story, Disorganized Outline Speech, I Like My X Like I Like My Y and Mixed Metaphor. Because this often uses realistic diction, it can also subvert Realistic Diction Is Unrealistic. Buffy Speak uses this a lot.


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  • A PSA for promoting foster parenting:
    Foster father: (consoling post-breakup foster daughter) Honey, dating is like... the stock market. There's highs, and lows... and highs... Um... And... (mumbles) alwaysremembertobuylow...
    Announcer: You don't have to be perfect to be the perfect parent. There are thousands of kids in foster care who would love to put up with you.
  • A mobile phone service promoted their smartphones with this line:
    "It's like having your cake and sending email with it."
  • Norton Internet Security will protect your unicorn from Dolph Lundgren. And your chicken from Dokken.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Azumanga Daioh:
    • In one of the "Supplementary Materials" strips written for the manga's tenth anniversary, Chiyo-Chichi gives Sakaki the following advice: "Keep moving forward. Then turn left at the second corner."
    • In another strip, Osaka compares her heart to a sea. It's big, deep, and has octopuses and stuff in it.
  • Gintama, being a Gag Series, takes this trope and runs with it.
  • In Great Teacher Onizuka, the eponymous Onizuka once described love as "That magical spark between two people that you hope won't start a fire and burn them both to death."
  • In Persona 4: The Animation Yu uses a giant, $35 beef bowl to begin an analogy to relate the need to never give up on their pursuit of a fairly vague goal. Other members of the group pitch in and add to the increasingly narmy metaphor. When it's Yu's turn again, he says, "And my bowl isn't empty yet."
  • A Running Gag in the '90s anime adaption of Sailor Moon features Minako frequently doing this, to which the other characters (mainly Artemis) telling her that's not how the specific saying goes. Usually the jokes are a result of her misreading the kanji of whatever metaphor she's trying to implement. For example, when Minako's trying to justify to Usagi why she's at the arcade instead of studying:
    Minako: You know what they say, "All haste makes dancing!"
    Motoki: [grimly] I think you two should be studying.
  • Shirokuma Cafe:
    • While talking with Handa, their zookeeper, the pandas comment on how he'd be more enthusiastic at work if he had a girlfriend, to which he responds by saying that, to him, "all the animals at the zoo are like his significant other", producing this exchange:
      Full-Time Panda: Now you sound a like a pure and innocent idol and I don't like it.
      Panda: Yeah. I don't want to hear idol-like phrases like "I don't go to the bathroom." True idols are like us and their poop smells like lemons.
      Full-Time Panda: [sweatdrops] Your conversation is drifting, Panda.
    • Happens again to Panda when he tries, and fails, to console Mama King Penguin about the fact that King penguins are always mistaken for Emperor penguins:
      Panda: Oh, it's not a big deal.
      King Penguin: Huh?
      Panda: They say that life is full of mountain and valleys. Mountains have bamboo. When you're hungry there's bamboo and bamboo grass.
      King Penguin: You piss me off! You totally piss me off! [cue her pecking panda]
  • In Yellow, Taki and Goh get into an argument about whether Taki or the women who go after him are "like moths to a flame." Amusingly this leads to an attempted kiss on Goh's part and this exchange:
    Taki: What are you doing?!
    Goh: My kiss is like moth balls.

    Comic Books 
  • Bookhunter: Agent Bay preps the police for a dragnet, and ends his speech with:
    Agent Bay: It might seem to you that we're grasping at straws. But straws are all we've got left. There is one straw that is going to break this case wide open. Which is why I need each and every one of you to follow your own straw to the bitterest end.
  • In one Tomorrow Stories Splash Brannigan adventure, the black-as-coal living inkblot Splash fights a white doppelganger. A bystander describes their battle as "Like a black thing and a white thing that are, uh... having a fight."
  • What The?! parodying the narration in Man-Thing, describing the swamp:
    This is where things cease to have names, where they cease to have form, where all that is left is fear and a smell something like what you get when you change a cat's litterbox in a poorly ventilated room. Or like those socks of yours — come on, I know you've got 'em — that stand up by themselves, and you put them on on a really hot day in those shoes that aren't made of leather but out of plastic, and you walk around all day, and then take them off... yeah. Like that. That — and fear.

    Comic Strips 
  • In Frazz, Caulfield once asked if life is a journey, and a sled ride is a journey, does that mean that the sled ride is a simile?
  • A 1984 installment of Matt Groening's Life in Hell included a few supposed quotations about love by great philosophers from history. They all follow this trope and become increasingly bizarre and ridiculous, finally finishing with this one: "Love is a snowmobile racing across the tundra and then suddenly it flips over, pinning you underneath. At night, the ice weasels come." — Nietzsche

    Fan Works 
  • The Bugger Anthology: When JARVIS objects to performing a test flight due to lack of information in "IRON DALEK", the titular character starts quoting Tony Stark's "Sometimes you gotta run before you can walk" line, only to get sidetracked partway through due to the line lacking applicability for Daleks.
    Iron Dalek: JARVIS, sometimes you have to run... before you can... slide around on the floor...
    JARVIS: I'm not sure that's the saying.
  • Calvin & Hobbes: The Series:
  • In Eleutherophobia: War Games, Tom compares the king cobra to beach bums, spending most of their time laying in the sun and barely bothering to move except to eat... and then goes off on a tangent about how sunbathers don't tend to swallow mongooses whole.
  • Equestria: A History Revealed: The narrator often forgets the point of her metaphors, or, worse, gets lost in her train of thoughts, and continues on with the metaphor as though it was the point itself.
  • From the Flame to the Spark: Sirius refers to fate as both male and female, prompting the following exchange.
    Ginny: Her? I thought we were kicking fate in the balls.
    Sirius: Oh no, that's Destiny. He's the bastard who shags Fate and knocks her up with prophecies, remember?
    Ginny: I think your metaphor took the Knight Bus to Stonehenge.
  • Kingdom Hearts: The Antipode: Olaf makes an analogy about saving Anna by likening Hans to a human blizzard, which somehow turns into a plan to keep Anna warm by making a bonfire out of Hans' intestines. Kristoff is understandably disturbed.
  • The King Nobody Wanted: The present High Septon, known by many as the Long-Winded One, has a habit for overextending metaphors until they start to lose coherence, such as by comparing the blessings of the Seven to rain before describing them as sprouting when on the fertile soil of receptive minds.
    Cersei: [thinking] Rain does not sprout, you imbecile.
  • Ponies of Olympus: When Twilight notes in Head of a Dog; Tail of a Lion that her status as a Princess demands that she negotiate with the Diamond Dogs for the release of Spike and their other captives rather than simply attacking them, Fluttershy chimes in with the "you attract more flies with honey than with vinegar" adage before timidly admitting that it's actually the other way around. Applejack adds that Sweet Apple Acres cider is really best for the job before Twilight exasperatedly lampshades the whole thing.
  • If They Haven't Learned Your Name
    • While a drunk Sam Wilson is reminiscing with an equally drunk Steve Rogers about his old Air Force (and romantic) partner Riley, Sam suddenly confesses that he misses Riley and sex. Steve agrees, knowing exactly what Sam's talking about.
      "Tell me about it," Steve mumbles, in the tones of a man who knows exactly what foxhole you’re coming from because he’s been there himself and in fact has built a summer home there with a back porch, garden patch and two garages.
    • A bit later, Natasha Romanoff is having a heart-to-heart with her Heterosexual Life-Partner Clint about reconciling her status as a world-saving do-gooder Avenger with her identity as Black Widow the ruthless spysassin who Works Alone(TM), and Clint brings up that she's technically helped save the world twice.
    Clint: "And, like, you know what they say about that — once is an accident, twice is coincidence..."
    Natasha: "Thrice is enemy action?"
    Clint: "Ye - No! No, your enemies would not want you to be an Avenger. That is definitely not... a thing they want you to do. Aw, metaphor."
  • John and Dave Write a Bad Smut Scene: "He was going to fuck him good and hard, and he was going to like it better than the piece of greasy pizza he'd eaten for lunch that afternoon. Piece of ass before piece of pizza, except when it's already occurred."
  • The New Adventures of Invader Zim has this bit of narration from Episode 2, when Norlock first realizes just how oblivious most humans are to beings like him:
    [He felt] like a wolf among the sheep. Admittedly, a very large wolf among a bunch of sheep who all appeared to be blind and deaf, and probably collectively lacking a sense of smell too… where was he going with this again?
  • A Silent Hill fanfic which is sadly(?) lost for good:
    "OMFG" cried James, flopping in the monster's strong arms like a fish. A fish that was about to be raped.
  • Lampshaded in the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Troll Fic The Spiderses:
    it was like a crunchy potato chip bag full of chips got throwed into an chainlink fence and i dont know wer this metaphor goesing. amynore.
  • Windfall: Courtesy of Pinkie Pie:
    "Savory foods and me are kinda like dragons and bicycles [...] Nothing to do with one another. Although if you gave Spike a tricycle I bet he'd be as cute as all get out. And we could race! I wonder if there's a place where you can rent tricycles in Canterlot."
  • The Clockwork Army:
    Astoria ambled along with her, and Mafalda reflected on the fact that she was the tour guide now. At Hogwarts, firmly entrenched in the magical world, Mafalda was the fish out of water, flopping and gasping and making Mafalda scream because she hated fish and Dad was so stupid for taking her along to the lake! …There'd been a metaphor there. In any case, now Mafalda was the one who knew what was going on, and Astoria was keeping rather close in the unfamiliar surroundings.

    Films — Animation 
  • From An Extremely Goofy Movie
    Goofy: You'll get a degree, and the world will be your clam.
    Max: Uh, oyster, Dad.
    Goofy: Oh, no thanks. I'm saving room for weenies.
  • Anna from Frozen falls victim to this in the Cut Song "More Than Just The Spare," prompting her to later call herself, "a girl who's bad at metaphors."
    So, I'm the extra button on a coat in case another one comes loose
    But if I have to be a button, why can't I be a button that's of use?
    I may lack style, and I may lack grace
    And once in a while, I fall on my face
    But this little button deserves a place in the sky
    This button wants to fly

    Wait, buttons can't fly! That doesn't make any sense.
  • Megamind and his arch-nemesis Metro Man tend to get lost in cheesy mid-battle banter whenever they fight - so much so that the Damsel in Distress has to remind them to actually do something besides exchanging increasingly bizarre witticisms. The metaphors become redundant through arguments:
    Megamind: Over here, old friend. In case you haven't noticed, you've fallen right into my trap.
    Metroman: You can't trap justice. It's an idea! A belief!
    Megamind: Well, even the most heartfelt belief can be corroded over time!
    Metroman: Justice is a non-corrosive metal.
    Megamind: But metals can be melted by the heat of revahnge!
    Metroman: It's "revenge", and it's best served cold!
    Megamind: But it could be easily reheated, in the microwave of evil!
    Metroman: Well, I think your warranty is about to expire!
    Megamind: Maybe I've got an extended warranty!
    Metroman: Warranties are invalid if you don't use the product for its intended purpose!
    Roxanne: [groans] Girls, girls! You're both pretty! Can I go home now?

    Films — Live-Action 
  • From 13 Going On 30:
    Tom-Tom: Okay, you can wipe off the "doe-eyed Bambi watching her mother get shot strapped to the back of a van" look from your face!
  • In 28 Days, one of the recovering addicts in the rehab center tries to explain how everyone has to walk their own path.
    There's a time when you can share and you hold hands and be on the same path. But there's always a fork in the road... at some point. And sometimes you have to go on one part of the fork and they gotta go on the other part of the fork. Or just down the back part of the fork while you go forward. And they're like: *sigh* Or they got a salad fork and you have one of the big dinner forks and you have longer to go but they're like done because that's it, they're stuck on a piece of food, that they *sigh*. A dessert fork or like one of those, you know, small little shrimp forks or crab forks and you're trying to get out a crab. They're like that and you're over here jumping to the huge serving fork or something like that, or a ladle, you know.
  • The 40-Year-Old Virgin tells us how to woo women: You plant a seed, you wait for that seed to grow into a plant, and then you fuck the plant.
  • Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls:
    Ace: I shall slip amongst them, like an unseen... thing!
  • Dave does this to one of Buddy's analogies in Anger Management when he starts describing the kind of angry person he is.
    Buddy: There are two kinds of angry people in this world: explosive and implosive. Explosive is the kind of individual you see screaming at the cashier for not taking their coupons. Implosive is the cashier who remains quiet day after day, and finally shoots everyone in the store. You're the cashier.
    Dave: No no no, I'm the guy hiding in the frozen food section dialing 911, I swear.
  • In Animal House, the Dean says:
    It's time someone put his foot down around here, and that foot is me.
  • The Art of the Steal: During an argument with Nicky, Crunch starts ranting about how Con Artists are supposed to have a code that makes them better than the thugs and gangsters of the world and how it may be horseshit:
    Crunch: But I bought into that horeshit, Nicky! And you, you just trample all over that horsehsit. And you just, now you, you got shit all over your, your boots, you know. You, you, you got shitty boots.
    Nick: Hey, the analogy's breaking down.
  • Back to the Future
    • Pretty much everything Biff Tannen tried in the series.
      Biff: "That makes about as much sense as a screen door on a battleship!"
      Marty: "Screen door on a submarine", you dork...

      Biff: So why don't you make like a tree... and get out of here?
    • His future self in Back to the Future Part II actually berates him on this point.
    • Ditto for his great-grandfather Mad Dog Tannen in Back to the Future Part III.
      Buford: I'll hunt you and shoot you down like a duck!
      Gang Member: It's dog, Buford. Shoot him down like a dog.
  • Balls of Fury has this:
    Ping pong... is not the macarena. It takes patience. She is like a fine, well-aged prostitute... it takes years to learn her tricks. She is cruel, laughs at you when you are naked, but you keep coming back for more, and more! Why? Because she is the only prostitute I can afford!
  • In The Boondock Saints, Doc tells the invasive Russian mobsters to leave, in a possible Shout-Out to the Back to the Future example above:
    "Why don't you make like a tree... and get the fuck out of here!"
    • The bartender and his patrons did this a lot in that scene, though the latter were making fun of the former.
      "People in glass houses sink ships!"

      "A penny saved is worth two in the bush, isn't it?"''

      "And don't cross the road if you can't get out of the kitchen!"
    • He speaks almost exclusively in these. The hilarity is compounded by his Tourette's.
  • In Bucky Larson Born To Be A Star, right after Bucky is told he isn't big enough downstairs to be a porn star, Antonio the diner owner offers to be in porn, saying "I'm hung like a cocker spaniel", at which point Miles Deep, the porn director, says, "A cocker spaniel isn't a big dog." "Yeah, but it's warm, and cuddly, and loyal, and has warm eyes." "Your dick has warm eyes?" "You know what I mean!"
  • Dinner for Schmucks:
    Kieran: (after hearing Tim's girlfriend left him) There's not a lot of monogamy in the animal kingdom. Not many animals mate for life. Penguins do. I've spent a lot of time with penguins, and they're really cool. Maybe you're a penguin, Tim, but Julie's not a penguin. She's a lioness! Don't try to mate a lioness with a penguin—ever. Have you ever seen a mammal and a bird mate? I've never even heard of that.
  • The educational short Drugs Are Like That really doesn't know what the metaphor it's going for is. Drugs are compared to Legos, cookies, swimming, toys, and pacifiers. Then they say that the human body is like a perpetual motion machine that the characters make out of Legos (!!) and that moving one piece causes it to explode — "Drugs are like that!" This is all narrated by Anita Bryant.
  • Earth Girls Are Easy - manicurist Valerie is willing to patch things up with her cheating fiance, but has to put her foot down:
    "A relationship is a lot like a porcelain nail, Ted. You can break it, and you can glue it back together, but it's not going to be as strong as it was unless the person is really committed to not bringing home nurses!"
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
    Peter Quill: "Here's the point; [Gamora] betrayed Ronan. He's coming back for her, and when he does, that's when you... (runs a finger over his neck)
    Drax: ...why would I put my finger on his throat?
    Quill: ...Oh, no, this is a...this is a symbol...for you, slicing his throat.
    Drax: I would not slice his throat. I would cut his head clean off.
    Quill: It's a general expression for you killing somebody. (turns to a nearby inmate) You've heard of this, you've seen this, right? You know what that is, right?
  • Happy Gilmore goes on a tirade when he can't get the ball to "go home"
    Happy: Son of a bitch ball, why you don't you just go HOME? That's your HOME! Are you too good for your HOME? ANSWER ME!
  • John Lennon does a visual gag in A Hard Day's Night where he pretends to snort a bottle of soda pop, as in "snorting coke" — but it's a bottle of Pepsi!
  • Hot Shots!:
    Topper: My father used to say that not playing to win is like sleeping with your sister. Sure she's a great piece of tail, with a blouse full of goodies, but, it's just illegal. Then you get into that whole inbred thing. Kids with no teeth who do nothing but play the banjo ... eat apple sauce through a straw ... pork farm animals.
  • Kill Bill: "...But you're not a worker bee. You're a renegade killer bee."
  • Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
    First Hitman: Well now, here we all are. Ike, Mike and Mustard.
    Harry: What the hell does that mean?
    Second Hitman: You know, I'm with him on this one, man. That's pretty fucking obscure.
    First Hitman: Horse shit, I hear that all the time!
    Second Hitman: You do?
    First Hitman: Yeah, sure.
    Second Hitman: Where, at the 1942 club?
    First Hitman: Hey, just 'cause you didn't get in...
    Second Hitman: Motherfucker, I could've gotten in!
    First Hitman: You wanna know who we are? I'm the frying pan, see? And my boy over here, he's?
    Second Hitman: Mustard. I'm Mustard, baby.
  • Loaded Weapon 1 does this in a battle of wits, then points it out.
    Morters: Where's the microfilm, Mike?
    McCracken: I don't know, I gave it to York. I thought she was one of your men.
    Morters: Act in haste, repent in leisure.
    McCracken: But he who hesitates is lost.
    Morters: Never judge a book by its cover.
    McCracken: What you see is what you get.
    Morters: Loose lips sink ships.
    McCracken: Life is very short, and there's no time for fussing or fighting my friend.
    (Mr. Jigsaw consults Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, shakes his head)
  • In Lucky Number Slevin:
    Sloe: You got some ID?
    Slevin: See, the funny thing about that is I got mugged this morning...
    Sloe: (interrupting) Look, look! Tell it to the one-legged man, so he can bump it off down the road.
    (awkward silence)
  • Magicians briefly has two spectators muse on the sight of two magicians, who formerly had a successful and well-respected double act going before one slept with the other's wife and the other accidentally decapitated said wife during a trick with a guillotine, reuniting for the first time in four years to perform together:
    Spectator 1: It's like Israel and Palestine.
    Spectator 2: ... Entering a magic competition together.
  • A Night at the Roxbury:
    Steve: Dad, it's like this. Doug is like a fax machine. You keep putting things in, but if it doesn't have a cover page, people don't know where it's coming from. And sometimes you get a busy signal. That's why you have a memory button, and a redial button... Actually I never use those, I always screw them up.
  • The Odd Couple II: Oscar and Felix painfully go through several different metaphors, before Oscar says he can't remember what they started out talking about.
  • In The Other Guys, after pointing out the flaws in Terry comparing himself to a lion going after a tuna, Allen continues to spin a scenario where the school of tuna build an apparatus that lets them go on land and hunt down the lion's family.
  • The opening narration of Out Cold has Stumpy comparing Bull Mountain to a woman, then switching over to a discourse on skiing injuries that has nothing to do with women, then ending on a note that would make his soliloquy a good comparison of a woman to the mountain, but making absolutely no sense the other way around.
  • One of the common The Rocky Horror Picture Show callbacks replies to Riff Raff's lines:
    "Say goodbye to all of this..."
    Goodbye, all this!
    "And hello... to oblivion."
    Hi, Oblivion! How's the wife and kids?
    Your wife, my kids!
  • The low-budget sci-fi movie R.O.T.O.R. has lots of these, such as "You fire me and I’ll make more noise than two skeletons making love in a tin coffin, brother."
  • Parodied in the fourth Scary Movie, when the guy who's hiding in a cellar from the aliens tells Tom the metaphor from War of the Worlds (2005) that the alien invasion is no more a real war than there is between man and maggots. He continues: there's also no real war between dragons and wolves. And man, riding dragons, throwing wolves at maggots. Tom gives the camera a vacant expression in response.
  • In The Social Network, Sean Parker uses the metaphor of a fisherman having his photo taken with one big Marlin instead of 15 trout. Eduardo goes into all the technical details, like how much a Marlin could weigh in real life and how strong the fisherman would have to be, while an irate Mark tells him that he's Comically Missing the Point.
  • Tony Stark, toward the end of Spider-Man: Homecoming:
    "You screwed the pooch hard, big time. But then you did the right thing: took the dog to the free clinic, you raised the hybrid puppies... alright, not the best analogy."
  • Dennis uses a couple of these in Surviving Eden:
    "Relationships are just like pigs. Feed 'em too much slop, and they'll get too fat. Feed 'em too little, and they'll break up with you."

    (confronting his fiancée, supposedly carrying his child) "Guess what, Adam and Eve got kicked out of Eden, you wanna know why? Because Eve wasn't really pregnant!"
  • What's Up, Tiger Lily? opens with creator Woody Allen explaining why he was approached to do a spy movie:
    "If you know me at all, you know that death is my bread, and danger my butter. Oh no, no, danger is my bread and death is my butter. No no, wait, danger is my bread, ...death, no, death? No, I'm sorry, death is my... Death and danger are my various breads and, and various butters."
  • The World's End: "And this time we're going to see it to the bitter end! ...Or lager end."

  • Tom Holt regularly includes some kind of brutal disjunction of "omelettes and eggs". Did you know that it is possible to make omelettes without shredding chickens, but it doesn't make as good television?
  • This is frequently seen in Discworld novels, due to the extreme literal-mindedness of many of the characters. Sometimes, of course, taking the metaphor a little too far actually works.
    "Time was something that largely happened to other people; [Lu-Tze] viewed it in the same way that people on the shore viewed the sea. It was big and it was out there, and sometimes it was an invigorating thing to dip a toe into, but you couldn't live in it all the time. Besides, it always made his skin wrinkle."
    • The narration of Night Watch has this to say about Vetinari, then a student Assassin: "His movements could be called cat-like, except that he did not stop to spray urine up against things."
  • Dortmunder series: In Good Behavior, Dortmunder comments that the lower levels of the Avalon State Bank Tower are reminiscent of the bowels of an ocean liner, then tries to develop a metaphor about how a skyscraper is like an ocean liner that stays in one place, before running aground on the ways that a skyscraper isn't like an ocean liner, and ending with "...maybe they aren't anything like each other at all. Forget the whole thing."
  • From the Eighth Doctor Adventures:
    • "Pleased with his metaphor, Fitz attempted to extend it."
    • Even Anji has been guilty of this. Very guilty.
      "The thing about it was, though, that if you knew there was something to know, and you hadn't been told about it, there was no way you could keep your mind from worrying about what it might be – like a tongue forever probing at an imperfection in a tooth, while you're wondering whether, if you ever pluck up enough courage to go to the dentist about it, it's going to be merely some calcine accumulation that can be simply blasted away, or the sort of root-canal job that leaves you unable to eat for three days for fear of disturbing what feels like three tons of amalgam."
  • From John C. Wright's Fugitives of Chaos
    "...Three decks of balcony and bulkhead were crumpled and staved-in as if a tree had fallen on them. It would have had to have been a redwood tree, I suppose, and made of iron. Perhaps dropped from orbit. Never mind the tree; it looked like a bomb had gone off."
  • A lot of the humor in Help! My Story Has the Mary-Sue Disease is based on this. For example:
    "Trust that your readers aren’t goldfish. (If they were goldfish, you’d already be world famous for teaching fish how to read and the problems with your writing wouldn’t actually matter anymore, because, holy shit, you taught fish how to read.)"
  • In ancient history, a non-comedic version of this is referred to as a "Homeric Simile". This is based on instances in The Iliad and The Odyssey where the narrator starts off comparing two things, then continues into minute details that are seemingly unnecessary. For instance, if someone was feeling happy, the story might say:
    "His joy was as warm as the joy that shipwrecked sailors might feel when they catch sight of land after Poseidon has struck down their well-rigged ship on the open sea with gale winds and crushing walls of waves, with only a few surviving, swimming, struggling out of the frothing surf to reach the shore, their bodies crusted with salt but buoyed up with glee as they plant their feet on solid ground."
  • From Jack Handey's Deep Thoughts:
    "Life, to me, is like a quiet forest pool, one that needs a direct hit from a big rock half-buried in the ground. You pull and you pull, but you can't get the rock out of the ground. So you give it a good kick, but you lose your balance and go skidding down the hill toward the pool. Then out comes a big Hawaiian man who was screwing his wife beside the pool because they thought it was real pretty. He tells you to get out of there, but you start faking it, like you're talking Hawaiian, and then he gets mad and chases you..."
  • In Jeeves and Wooster Bertie sometimes falls into this while narrating. Very Good, Jeeves! gives us this gem:
    "One of the first lessons life teaches us is that on these occasions of back-chat between the delicately-nurtured a man should retire into the offing, curl up in a ball, and imitate the prudent tactics of the opossum, which, when danger is in the air, pretends to be dead, frequently going to the length of hanging out crepe and instructing its friends to stand round and say what a pity it all is."
  • In Kill time or die trying Nathan discourages dating within the club with the saying 'You don't poop where you eat'. He tries to stretch this metaphor to explain to Brad why long-distance relationships are a bad idea, saying 'You don't mail your poop to Bloemfontein either, Brad.'
  • In the Mediochre Q Seth Series, Mediochre has several.
    Mediochre: This whole scene could have stepped out of a cheesy fantasy adventure were it not for the fact that scenes are incapable of stepping anywhere due to severe deficiency in the foot department.
  • Among the concepts used by the Oulipo, who were basically the Dadaists of the literary world, is the 'pataphor (canonically spelled with the apostrophe). It is described as being like a lizard whose tail has grown so long that the tail breaks off and grows a new lizard. "Look, Bob," said Alice, "what a strange lizard." "Indeed," replied Bob absently, beginning to grow impatient with this interminable safari.
  • This trope occurs regularly in William Langland's 14th Century Narrative Poem, Piers Plowman, which is famous for its abstruse allegorical method which consistently stretches metaphors way further than their comfortable limits. See, for instance, the explanation of the Trinity as Hand (fingers, palm and fist) and Candle (taper, flame, and wax) in Passus 17 of the B text.
  • A Running Gag in The Reckoners Trilogy is that the narrator, David, is horrifically bad at metaphors, resulting in things like "banana farm for guns," "brick made of porridge," and "ninja alligators." And that's before he starts overthinking them.
    "Megan’s eyes could have drilled holes through... well, anything, I guess. I mean, eyes can’t normally drill holes through things, so the metaphor works regardless, right?"
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events: Lemony Snicket seems to have an affinity for strange and humorous metaphors of this kind.
    • The Beatrice Letters has, "The day was as cold and bitter as hot chocolate if it had been put in a fridge for several hours and filled with vinegar."
    • In The Penultimate Peril, there is: "Deciding whether or not to trust a person is like deciding whether or not to climb a tree, because you might get a wonderful view from the highest branch, or you might simply get covered in sap, and for this reason many people choose to spend their time alone and indoors, where it is harder to get a splinter."
  • In So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish, hitchhiking alien Ford Prefect has a dream in which he encounters a new life form emerging from a polluted New York river. When the creature asks him what life is like he responds:
    "Life is like a grapefruit. Well, it's sort of orangey-yellow and dimpled on the outside, wet and squidgy in the middle. It's got pips inside, too. Oh, and some people have a half a one for breakfast."
  • Jack's explanation of all the different worlds in Spider Circus becomes this. It's something to do with knitting baskets and wool, and cracks in the wool.
  • Lampshaded by Patton Oswalt in his essay "Dating a Stripper is a Recipe for Perspective" from Things I've Learned From Women Who've Dumped Me:
    "But even the sweetest apple plucked from the tree of love can become a rotted, flyblown failure full of disease, maggots, and yelling.
    Yes, when love goes bad, it can fill an apple with yelling."
  • Keeper of the Lost Cities: In Nightfall, when they're trying to figure out what to do with Alvar:
    Sophie: And he can't fool us if we're on to the game, right?
    Biana: Unless there's more than one game.
    Sophie: So we take the player off the field, or... I'm losing track of this metaphor.

  • Bill Bailey revels in this in one of his songs.
    "I was alone/my heart was cold it was a stone/my soul was lonely like a stone/there was no moss! And when I danced I danced alone/Except I did not dance because I was alone/so I did not dance."
    "The snowflake on the eye of the deer/has turned to pus that oozes from an open wound./The deer now blinded stumbles into a ravine."
  • Jon Lajoie's "MC Vagina" persona is fond of this - in his case, the metaphor usually starts out nonspecific, vague, and blunt, and then moves right into non sequitur as he overexplains it.
    My love is like lightning: it gives girls orgasms. My dick is like an airplane: it gives girls orgasms.
    Yeah, the Eiffel Tower is a lot like my dick: it's big and it stings when soap gets inside the tip.
    My lyrics are like the movie Die Hard with a Vengeance: they're awesome... and Jeremy Irons is a good bad guy.
  • Little Tin Frog's "Jennifer" includes the following gem:
    "For a while, you were his style / But we all need a new haircut once in a while / Especially when your old haircut won't sleep with you."
  • From Tim Minchin's beat poem Storm: "I'm becoming aware that I'm staring / I'm like a rabbit, suddenly trapped / in the blinding headlights of vacuous crap."
  • Whilst Wynona's Big Brown Beaver by Primus consists of euphemistic metaphors, the entirety of the song seems to be an example of metaphorgotten:
    Wynona loved her big brown beaver
    and she stroked it all the time
    She pricked her finger one day and it occurred to her
    She might have a porcupine.
  • Early in Eminem's career, the violent content of his lyrics was usually braggadocio extended into upsettingly detailed murder fantasies.
    • A great example is his verse in "Forgot About Dre", which starts as a trivial simile ("I'm harder than [difficult thing]") but spirals out of control:
      I'm harder than me tryna park a Dodge
      when I'm drunk as fuck
      right next to a humongous truck in a two-car garage.
      Hoppin' out with two broken legs tryna walk it off -
      fuck you too, bitch! Call the cops!
      I'ma kill you, and them loud-ass motherfuckin' barkin' dogs!
      And when the cops came through
      me and Dre stood next to a burnt-down house.
      With a can full of gas and a handful of matches.
      And still weren't found out!
    • In "My Name Is", Slim smokes too much weed, falls over "faster than a fat bitch who sat down too fast", and then immediately seduces the fat bitch (while her boyfriend attempts to plead that she's already taken).
    • At the beginning of "Criminal", Slim says "my words are like a dagger with a jagged edge, that'll stab you in the head whether you're a [...]" before derailing into an obscene Rhyming List of slurs for sexual minorities that doesn't need to be repeated here. The metaphor continues into various homophobic scenarios where the gay men are looking at his crotch and Gianni Versace is murdered because he was too distracted checking out boys - and derails completely when Eminem raps as a homophobic pastor who thinks Jesus will turn gay men straight despite his own sexual perversion. This is the most controversial pataphor of his whole career, as it often gets brought up as proof of Eminem's genuine, non-kayfabe desire to stab gay people. Eminem is a gay ally in real life, and the point of the song was to prove that, even if he's saying the worst stuff he can think of, it doesn't actually hurt people in real life; he's also expressed shame about "Criminal" in his later career, both in interviews and through his music (particularly in "Bad Guy"/"Parking Lot" on The Marshall Mathers LP 2, where he's murdered in revenge for the song, then commits suicide because of it).
    • In "Rap God", Eminem turns a trivial violent brag into rapping in a Gossipy Hens voice about a Ray J beef from 2011 (that Eminem had no involvement in):
      And I just bought a new raygun from the future
      just to come and shoot ya, like when Fabolous made Ray J mad
      'Cause Fab said he looked like a f-g at Mayweather's pad
      singin' to a man while he played pia-no.
      Man, oh man, that was a 24/7 special on the cable channel!
      So Ray J went straight to the radio station
      the very next day; "Hey Fab, I'ma kill you!"
    • An example from his later career is his verse in Nicki Minaj's "Roman's Revenge":
      I swear to God life is a dumb blonde white broad
      With fake tits and a bad dye job
      Who just spit in my fuckin' face and called me a fuckin' tightwad
      So finally I broke down and bought her an iPod
      And caught her stealing my music
      So I tied her arms and legs to the bed
      Set up the camera and pissed twice on her
      Look, two pees and a tripod
  • The Lonely Island's OST for the film Pop Star Never Stop Never Stopping includes "Finest Girl (Bin Laden Song)," about a woman who uses the assassination of Bin Laden as an extended metaphor for what she wants in bed. The metaphor details when the singer (Connor4Real, the protagonist of the film) claims that the president called him to congratulate him when he was done.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • The origin of Bryan Danielson and Paul London's tag team, as London was inspired to find a partner after observing dolphin pods but then started ranting about swarms and how they were going to sting Joey Ryan and Scott Lost. When Danielson questioned this, London explained they were Hybrid Dolphins.
  • What Lio Rush had to say about being matched up with the much larger Punisher Martinez in the semis of Ring of Honor's Top Prospect Tournament.
    “At the end of the day, I will chop down the tree, kick his head off and go to the finals.”

  • Frequently played with on Adventures in Odyssey, since TV Genius Eugene interprets all metaphors as Metaphorgotten. For example, when he gets offended when his future father-in-law calls Katrina's engagement ring a "mere trinket."
    Eugene: Trinket?
    Mr. Shanks: Now, no offense, Eugene, but let's call a spade a spade.
    Eugene: Frankly, Mr. Shanks, if I had given Katrina a shovel, then we could call a spade a spade.
  • Almost all of Humphrey Lyttelton's explanations of how "One Song to the Tune of Another" works in I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue do this, and the derail always ends the same way. For example:
    Humphrey Lyttelton: Each member of a team is presented with a song from which the words have been omitted and replaced with the lyrics of a second song from which the tune has been discarded. Still not clear? Try to imagine you have two electric lamps but in one of the lamps the light bulb has failed. You could swap it over for the good one. It doesn't matter why one of them has failed, although it is almost certainly because you bought them cheaply from some dodgy market trader — their light bulbs are certainly good value but they do have a habit of going out if handled badly — they are not built to withstand rough treatment such as putting electricity through them. To be fair they probably work well enough where they come from, some sweatshop in Uzbekistan no doubt, where if the mains supply goes above 7 Volts they classify it as a power surge. Finally, in those places even a dead light bulb is considered something of a luxury compared with what they normally have. I know what you are thinking—what could possibly be more dim than a dead light bulb? At the piano we have Colin Sell.
  • A Running Gag in Nebulous is that the eponymous professor will take his Technobabble metaphors to breaking point and beyond. For example:
    Nebulous: The whole of the universe is unravelling into a massive coincidence like a badly knit cardigan caught on the wire of coincidence. A whole sleeve has already gone, and now the collar's starting to unravel. Un-knit 1, un-purl 1, un-knit 1, un...I'm drifting..
    Nebulous: Doctor Klench is a chap who came to a crossroads in life and took a turning marked evil. He put his foot to the accelerator and he's not stopping. Not for pedestrians, not for a picnic, not for a toilet break, not- I'm drifting.
    • Interestingly, Professor Nebulous always realizes he's doing it, and stops himself with the remark, "I'm drifting."
  • Marcus Brigstocke gives us the Tax Cake.
  • Ryan Packer as played by Marcus Brigstocke in Think the Unthinkable does this all the time, usually in a way that leaves him accidentally insulting himself. For example, a "square peg in a round hole" metaphor ends with him asking the audience to think of him as a large round hole.

    Stand-up Comedy 
  • Aziz Ansari has a bit on his special Intimate Moments for a Sensual Evening, talking about how a immigrant doctor friend of his was able to bypass the greencard process by going to Alabama, which is an "underserved" state.
    "I was like, whoa, that's kind of a weird deal. The government's like, "Oh yeah, you can come to the United States! C'mon, c'mon! Yeah, you, c'mon, c'mon!...but you gotta go to Alabama". It's kinda like a girl going "Yeah, you can see me naked, but you can only look at my left elbow. And my left elbow is racist."
    • Another one, from Dangerously Delicious:
      "When does Harris play dirty in life? I can only think of one instance: It's when he's playing Halo. 'Cause as soon as the board starts, he always knows where the rocket launchers are, and he grabs them and starts blowing everybody up. It's fucked up, he does this shit every time, it's why I don't play Halo with him anymore. Now, I'm sure there's some people here that have never played Halo, and that doesn't make any sense, so I will give you an analogy, OK? It'd be as if you were playing Monopoly, right? And someone rolled a 10, and landed on Park Place, and Harris came in with a rocket launcher and blew everybody up."
  • Lewis Black on his Red White and Screwed tour would like you to share his outrage about Bill Clinton's marital infidelity:
    Lewis: Is oral sex adultery? Yes! There is no fucking question! If curling is an Olympic sport, then oral sex is adultery! And oral sex should be an Olympic sport! Why? Because it's harder than curling, and if you're any good at it, you deserve a medal!
  • Eddie Izzard has a bunch of these.
    • Her bit about romance among beekeepers? "I like my women how I like my coffee... COVERED IN BEES!"
    • Followed later by "I like coffee hot and strong. Like I like my women: hot and strong. ...With a spoon in them."
    • As well as another Izzard comment on beekeeping:
      "My father was a beekeeper, his father was a beekeeper before him, and I wanted to follow in their footsteps. And those footsteps went like this: 'AAAAAAAAAAAH I'm covered in beeeeeees! HELP!'"
  • Michael Loftus compared marriage to apple pie like so:
    "And I like apple pie! I can eat a lot of apple pie. But after seven years of apple pie, apple pie, apple pie... I want to bang an Asian girl."
  • John Mulaney's "horse in a hospital" bit starts describing the current political situation with the scenario it's named for— a metaphor for a situation so out-of-the-ordinary that nobody knows how to deal with it, even alleged experts— and quickly loses all track of just what kind of trouble horses are mentally, physically, and socially capable of causing.
    And then someone goes "If there is a horse in the hospital, then I am going to say the N-Word on TV! and we are like "...those two don't connect at all!"
    I thought you'd say that, you dumb fucking horse!
  • The old Yakov Smirnoff joke, "Russian men have a saying: 'Women are like buses...' That's it."

  • For the Avenue Q song "The More You Ruv Someone":
    Christmas Eve: Love!
    Kate Monster: Love!
    Christmas: And hate!
    Kate: And hate!
    Christmas: They like two brothers!
    Kate: Brothers!
    Christmas: Who go on a date!
    Kate: Who... what?
  • Cyrano de Bergerac: The baker Ragueneau, obsessed with poetry, tries to combine poetry with cooking when talking to the cooks at his bakery. Of course, the cooks don't understand anything he says:
    Ragueneau: (ceasing to write, and raising his head) Aurora's silver rays begin to glint e'en now on the copper pans, and thou, O Ragueneau! must perforce stifle in thy breast the God of Song! Anon shall come the hour of the lute!—now 'tis the hour of the oven! (He rises, and addresses a cook) You, make that sauce longer, 'tis too short!
    The Cook: How much too short?
    Raguenau: Three feet. (he moves further into the kitchen)
    The Cook: What means he?
    First Pastry-Cook: (showing a dish to Ragueneau) The tart!
    Second Pastry-Cook: The pie!
    Raguenau (standing before the fire) My muse, retire, lest thy bright eyes be reddened by the fagot's blaze! (To a cook, showing him some loaves) You have put the cleft o' th' loaves in the wrong place; know you not that the caesura should be between the hemistiches? (To another, showing him an unfinished pastry) To this palace of paste you must add the roof... (To a young apprentice, who, seated on the ground, is spitting fowls) And you, as you put on your lengthy spit the modest fowl and the superb turkey, my son, alternate them, as the old Malherbe loved well to alternate his long lines of verse with the short ones; thus shall your roasts, in strophes, turn before the flame!
  • In Fangirls, Lily starts describing how a crush is perfectly named because it feels like your internal organs are being crushed. However, she attempts to elaborate with another analogy about being a dental floss dispenser, only for them to get mixed and she winds up describing having her intestines drawn out through her belly button.
  • Lampshaded in the "Ireland Reprise" from Legally Blonde, where Paulette sings:
    You go and fight for him!
    The Irish fear nothing and no one,
    they keep fighting 'til everyone's dead!
    ...I'm not sure where this metaphor's going;
    I just felt that it had to be said.
  • Two examples appear in Gretchen's verse of "Meet the Plastics" in Mean Girls The Musical:
    "If Regina is the sun, then I'm a disco ball
    Cause I'm just as bright and fun, if you've had alcohol."

    "Regina is the queen, but I'm the head of worker bees.
    As I am seated at her right hand like a Jewish Princess Jesus."
  • From Passing Strange: "...They mimic the phallo-centric narrative of 'verse, chorus, verse, chorus, climax, fade out, smoke a cigarette, turn over, snore all night and never call me again—'"
    • "You know, absence really does make the heart grow into a state of mind which somehow transforms what you once could not stand about your family into a somehow quaint pleasure-giving construct."
  • Detective Bramley in the Fractured Fairy TaleSe7en Dwarfs is a master of this:
    "You can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs, and that's what White did. She smashed the eggs of crime to make the omelette of justice. Me, I just put the eggs in the pan still in their shells, and kind of bashed them around a bit without breaking can't make an omelette that way, it's quite true...I just got sort eggs..."

    "You always were the sharp one, White! You were the knife cutting through the butter of crime, and I was...I was the spoon, still useful, but...not as good at cutting..."''
  • Lampshaded in Urinetown, where Hope points out that the metaphor of "Don't Be the Bunny" is getting a bit strained:
    Hope: A little bunny at the tollbooth?
    Cladwell: You heard me.
    Hope: But, Daddy, bunnies don't drive cars.
    Cladwell: Oh, don't they?!
  • In one of the numbers in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, the gang has to write a book report on Peter Rabbit. Schroeder's report begins by comparing the story to Robin Hood, and by the end of the song, he so caught up in telling the story of Robin Hood, he's almost forgotten what the report was actually supposed to be about.

    Web Animation 
  • FreedomToons: "The Fable of Jordan Peterson" at one point parodies Jordan Peterson's use of archetype and metaphor to express meaning and life lessons.
    Jordan Peterson: You think she's telling the truth? Yeah, sure. Just like Little Red Riding Hood, walking down a path to grandma's house... but then it turns out, it's not grandma... it's The Big Bad Wolf... and he gobbles you up! ...and that's how you get Nazi Germany.
  • Homestar Runner has: "If I had to choose a word to describe myself, that word would be 'Fluffy Puff Marshmallows'. Or Homestar. Either one, really. They both fit!" Strong Bad's attempt to compare emails to fish also counts.
  • Zero Punctuation: Given Yahtzee's love of strange metaphors, this trope was bound to show up occasionally.
    (On the Mortal Kombat remake) "I've made no secret of my feeling that one of the biggest recurring problems in the games industry is a case of too many cooks spoiling the broth. Development teams being too big, perhaps the industry as a whole being too big, with none of the cooks taking any personal responsibility for the broth so you end up with a lot of gluey unseasoned broth that is just about inoffensive enough to be palatable to mainstream broth audiences but isn't exactly getting five star write-ups in Broth Monthly. And almost inevitably there'll be a few cooks who want to be able to pad their resume and perhaps one day join a better broth making corporation that will let them have creative control of the broth, so they put a lot of effort into polishing the carrots that are their sole responsibility, and then everyone feels like they have to make the carrots float to the top all the time and show off how well polished they are, but the broth isn't supposed to be about the carrots so I just get kind of put off by the way these carrots are being pushed in my face while I'm trying to enjoy the beef cubes and the radishes. I think this is already the best metaphor I've ever written."
    • It's also used during the review of Splinter Cell: Conviction.
    • From the Saints Row 2 review:
      "It's pure mindless fun, like wrestling an excitable dog in a paddling pool full of disembodied breasts. *beat* Don't think too much about that simile, I certainly didn't."
    • From the Dark Void review:
      "I wonder if the Geneva Convention covers torturing metaphors."
    • From his Skyrim
      "I'll applaud [Skyrim's faults] if it means we can have less games that treat me like a child stuck in a pipe, games industry. I will applaud it as hard as you like. I will slap at my palms until my future children suffer masturbation guilt. No, I don't know what I'm on about. Go away."
    • From his Kinect Review:
      "And while I was able to deduce that the Microsoft Kinect would be a crap gaming system simply by using my magnificent brain, I recently picked one up anyway because Pope Urban VIII probably thought he was very clever when he condemned Galileo; but who got the last laugh there? Well, he did, when Galileo died in poverty and dishonor. But what I'm saying is that I'm basically like the Pope."
    • From his review of Ghostbusters: The Video Game:
      "Just like in Gears of War, we'll need to be resurrected by an ally. So on top of all the aforesaid combat blindsiding issues, I have to break off the fight now and again to do the retard roundup. It's like keeping plates spinning, in the middle of a mosh pit... and the plates won't shut the fuck up."
    • Also his review of Gravity Rush:
      "The first press cancels your gravity and puts you into hover mode, the second picks a new gravity. It's like having to stop the car and put it in neutral before you can change gear. And your car dresses like a whore."
    • From his review of Assassin's Creed III:
      "Hey America... people who live in glass houses... should probably get around to closing Guantanamo Bay one of these days..."
    • And from his review of inFAMOUS: Second Son:
      "Still, the range of elemental powers on display are pretty creative, although the word "elemental" is getting stretched like a mozzarella bumhole at the novelty sausage gala— what am I on about?"
    • From his review of Quantum Conundrum, when talking about the glove that lets you switch between alternate dimensions:
      "It's kind of like a glove-mounted cocktail dispenser except it alters the physical properties of things other than your own legs. There's the piña colada dimension, where everything is light and fruity; the Black Russian dimension, where things sit much more heavily and you start clutching your head complaining about your ex-wife; the absinthe dimension, where everything floats off into the sky to come crashing apocalyptically down the following morning; and the slow motion dimension, where this analogy kind of breaks down."
    • And again in his review of Dreams:
      "I feel like making a game in Dreams would be like cleaning a bathroom floor with the eyelashes of a horse. Impressive, yes, but there were much easier ways. And you'll have very little use for all that horse-wrangling expertise you had to learn if you want to move into cleaning bathroom floors on a professional level. Even moreso after Sony inevitably decides it can't be bothered to support clean bathroom floors anymore and turns the servers off, sending everyone's hard work right down the bathroom drain. Yes, I have completely lost the fucking thread of this metaphor."

  • Used frequently in 8-Bit Theater.
    • Black Mage's examples are especially noteworthy as he has a tendency to derail his metaphors into him reveling in the memories of past atrocities, such as here and here.
    • this 8-Bit Theater strip.
      Black Mage: You can't make an omelette a forest. Or something.
  • Achewood: Psycho murderer Nice Pete explains what it's like to kill someone.
    It's kind of like playin' a basketball game. I am there... and the other player is there... and it's just the two of us... and I put the other player's body in my van... and I am the winner.
  • The Adventures of Dr. McNinja. On this page, Judy the gorilla smashes Dr McNinja (disguised as Dr. McLuchador) into a tree, hard enough to shatter the tree. The Alt Text reads, "Make like a tree, and shatter into a million pieces."
  • Antihero for Hire, when the main character is describing the battle between him and his enemies.
    Dechs: It's like a game of chess. It's their turn, and their strike can come at any moment from any direction, completely invisibly, and from multiple fronts all at once...
    Wrench: Um, have you ever actually played chess?
    Dechs: That's not important.
  • Between Failures has this lovely gem:
    Nina: It's like a tree lighting ceremony. Except there are two trees, and one wants to make sweet love to the other.
  • Bobwhite: Cleo's mom tries to tell Cleo that sometimes one can't really be in control of their own life. Then she gets a little distracted. "Anyway... what was I saying? Something about how sexy your father is?"
  • This Count Your Sheep strip.
    Laurie: Is that still a metaphor, or are you trying to tell me something?
    Ship: Just that it's not my turn to do the dishes.
  • Darths & Droids: Combined with a minor Hurricane of Puns in episode 1437:
    Wedge: We're eating these PIEs [the equivalent of TIE fighters] for breakfast, but there are more incoming.
    R2: Don't forget to leave one for me.
    Wedge: Maybe they think we're too full to handle them.
    Lando: I don't think they know about second breakfast. We're about to serve up some justice.
  • Dinosaur Comics: T-Rex gets his metaphor deconstructed for him; its the second metaphor that's an example of this trope. Named in the RSS as "SOMETIMES your friends will ruin what you thought was a really great metaphor/relationship"
  • El Goonish Shive has this gem:
    Justin: It'd be like if an orange only liked other oranges and their orange partner got jealous of a bunch of old apples the other orange used to date.
    Nanase: ... what?
  • Erfworld: Prince Tramennis tries to talk some since into Duke Antium in this text update:
    Tramennis: You seem bent on spending your last moments in this world with your thumbs jammed into the thumbscrews of guilt, and turning them as hard as you can... which is impossible, I realize... but that analogy had a lot more promise when I started this sentence, and it seemed likely to end with a witty bon mot about screwing yourself. That didn't work out, did it? Nothing has, today.
  • Gunnerkrigg Court: "Better to have loved and lost than to be... dead or something."
  • Hark! A Vagrant's take on Queen Elizabeth is this trope, gone crazy:
    Queen Bess: My beloved people, I know that I have the body of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king... And the WINGSPAN of an ALBATROSS!note 
  • Homestuck: This sort of thing happens quite often when a character tries to come up with a grandiose or dramatic analogy.
  • Common in The Order of the Stick.
    • This comic has:
      Armourer: can't make an omelet without permanently deafening someone.
    • Elan's pre-battle pep talk contains a few.
    • Elan's attempt at suggesting how the party mark their way through a bunch of canyons.
      Elan: Can't we drop breadcrumbs like that story where they dropped breadcrumbs but the birds ate them all and they got lost and never mind, I get it.
    • Also Tarquin:
      Tarquin: You can't make an omelette without ruthlessly crushing dozens of eggs beneath your steel boot and then publicly disembowelling the chickens that laid them as a warning to others.
    • Elan, when having some life force drained and then restored: "Whoa... I feel super lightheaded. Except I think my head is pretty dark inside, so I guess I feel darkheaded." [gets restored] "Wow, now my head has the exact right level of lighting!"
  • Ozy and Millie does this periodically.
    Avery: What are you, some kind of a Grammar Nazi?
    Millie: Yup. I just invaded Grammar Czechoslovakia and duped Grammar Neville Chamberlain, and now it's on to Grammar Poland and Grammar World Conquest!
    Ozy: Would this, ironically, make you an "analogy Nazi"?
  • Paranatural:
    • Spender's attempt to explain why ghosts can't use tools gets... a little off-track.
      Spender: Think of it like this: Spirits are creatures that eat yarn... And spectrals are people in sweaters. Um, regenerating sweaters. Well, I guess you can't "take the sweater off," so they're more like people with yarn... body hair? And ghosts are people made of all yarn. Which, um, also regenerates, just not as fast as spirits can eat it. And spirits would also be made of yarn, actually. this metaphor.
    • Max compares the size of Scrapdragon's head to a car:
      Heck, Scrapdragon's head was as big as a car. And its jaws were like... that car's trunk, but—but filled with teeth, like a huge mouth would be!
  • Penny Arcade also has its share of silly metaphors and analogies.
    Frank: When you make an omelette, sometimes you've got to kill a few people.
    • They take another crack at it here. Sometimes, the fruit is just fruit.
    • And again-
      Victim: He beat me with a hammer until I went blind!
      Police Officer: You know what else is blind? Justice. But Justice didn't get beat with a hammer. Justice is always blind. That's regular for Justice.
    • Sort of averted when Tycho angrily and sarcastically finishes Gabe's "When life gives you lemons" metaphor:
      Tycho: I got out to get the mail, and a rabid dog mauls my other hand and face!
      Gabe: You know what my mom used to say: "When life gives you shit," you just... Uh..."
      Tycho: Make Shit-ade? What?
      Gabe: Wait, it's coming to me.
  • pictures for sad children attempts to explain how time travel works:
    Professor: Imagine time is a long corridor. At the end of the corridor there is a curtain. Are you with me so far? Behind the curtain there is a man. The man holds a black egg. A cat hatches from this egg. The cat screams with the voice of a man.
  • In Prequel, the guardian spirit starts off its comforting speech to Katia by giving her the 'When life gives you lemons' speech.
    Guardian Spirit: You see… Khajiit person… sometimes life gives you lemons. And when that happens… you need to find some spell that makes lemons explode, because lemons are terrible. I only ate them once and I can say with certainty they are the worst fruit. If life gave me lemons, I would view it as nothing short of a declaration of war.
  • Questionable Content has fun with this from time to time.
    • For example.
    • This one is even lampshaded.
    • In #4647, Claire's mom has sent her an ominous "I have something to tell you" text. Claire asks where this news is on a scale of "I took a pottery class" to "I have a terminal illness". Her mom responds with "Imagine I took a pottery class and my pottery became extremely famous and now I'm doing pottery full time under a nom de pot. Metaphorically speaking."
  • This strip from Real Life Comics.
  • Sandra and Woo: When Sandra is bored with her piano practice, her father tries to reason with her.
    Richard: Look at it this way: when you’re grown up, you’ll look back in horror to all those wasted hours of your youth and appreciate your current life much more.
    Sandra: I believe the saying goes differently.
    Richard: Whatever.
  • From Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal:
    • In this strip, we see how Metaphorgotten makes a poor confession strategy.
      Woman: "Steve, you and I... we're like apples and oranges. I'm the oranges, and the oranges are doing your brother."
    • Also this strip shows how being absent-minded in the middle of a metaphor can have traumatic consequences.
    • Son, a good woman is like a deep fried chimpanzee
    • Also featuring Overextended Metaphor Parrot.
    • The strip for 2015-02-01 reveals that Nietzsche's "When you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you" originally had a long follow-up about the abyss wondering why you're looking at it.
  • Schlock Mercenary: "Don't kick, don't bite, and don't whine about the close quarters. Just stew in your own angry juices like a fresh can of condensed whoopass. Except this is a relief mission. No whooping. ...I need a better selection of canned goods."
  • This Sheldon.
  • From Sluggy Freelance:
    • There's:
      Torg: It is a giant elevator to Hell with ghosts in the gas tank!
      Riff: Elevators don't use gas tanks.
      Torg: Right, bad analogy. How about... It's an inverted toaster popping the bread of us onto the "two eggs up, and a side of bacon" plate of Hell! With ghosts in the gas tank!
    • Or:
      Torg: Life is like a sandwich. Sometimes you eat it, and sometimes it eats you.
      Riff: What kind of sandwich are we talking about here?
      Torg: Pitbull salad sandwich. [then he starts explaining how to make that]
  • Spamusement tells us that life is like a coin: small, round, and 95% zinc.
  • The Way of the Metagamer, here, when discussing the Continuity Snarl between the Discworld books Pyramids and Small Gods.

    Web Videos 
  • Dragon Ball Z Abridged has Broly described by his father as "a trump card, if the card literally turned over the table and shot the other player."
  • Sword Art Online Abridged has this example from episode 3's narrator:
    Sir Jack Dapper: And in time, Kirito found that he could almost tolerate [the Moonlit Black Cats], much like a fat man tolerates the tapeworms in his intestines. And like those tapeworms, that guild burrowed deep into his innards, and gorged themselves on his leftovers, until they began causing abdominal pain and diarrhea. I realize the metaphor's breaking down a bit here, but granny Dapper didn't raise no quitters.
  • Kitboga is a scambaiter popular on Twitch and YouTube. One of his favorite scammer time-wasters is to tell a long, rambling story that is supposed to be a metaphor of some sort or have An Aesop, which is thoroughly forgotten as the story branches off in five different directions. On rare occasions, the scammer may supply one, which may or may not resemble whatever was originally being driven towards.

  • Entries for the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest frequently contain these. As do Lyttle Lytton Contest entries.
    • For example the 2003 winner:
    They had but one last remaining night together, so they embraced each other as tightly as that two-flavor entwined string cheese that is orange and yellowish-white, the orange probably being a bland Cheddar and the white ...Mozzarella, although it could possibly be Provolone or just plain American, as it really doesn't taste distinctly dissimilar from the orange, yet they would have you believe it does by coloring it differently.
  • In a newspaper, when asked about his cancelled quiz show The Rich List, Andrew O'Keefe came out with this gem, comparing it to his other show: "The Rich List is like a dear cousin sadly taken before its time, never to return I'm afraid. Unlike Deal or No Deal, which is like the bachelor uncle who shows up to every family function without fail and drinks everything in sight and gets all the kids dancing and hyper before taking off into the night in his '65 Mercedes convertible which could use a little TLC."
  • The Style Invitational column in the Washington Post twice challenged its readers to submit "painfully bad" analogies. Notably torturous entries included:
    Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 PM traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 PM at a speed of 35 mph.
John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.

    Real Life 
  • Older Than Feudalism as it is warned against in one of the oldest books dealing with tropes, Quintilian's Institutes of Oratory (ca. 95 CE):
    It is all-important never to mix your metaphors, for there are many orators who, after beginning with a tempest, will end with a fire or a falling house, with the result that they produce a hideously incongruous effect.
  • Tim Schafer is really good at this. Since this is really long, just click here and read the first question and answer.
    Coming back to the genre has been like finding an old jacket in a box in your garage that you haven’t worn in twenty years, but once you shake the dust off and put it on you realize it's an amazing jacket and it still fits, and once you patch the holes in the pockets it could easily take a spot in your main jacket rotation.

    Oh, and also, in one of the pockets was three and a half million dollars.
  • Famously:
    George W. Bush: "There's an old saying in Tennessee—I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee—that says, 'Fool me once, shame on... shame on you. Fool me—you can't get fooled again."
  • John McCain dropped his analogy right in the middle of saying it when asked if Bill Clinton was an appeaser towards North Korea:
    McCain: If it quacks like a duck, and walks like a duck, it's appeasement.
  • To quote a gem from a 2011 article on the bankruptcy of Borders Group Inc.:
    “The superstores were viewed by the independent bookstores as dinosaurs that came to kill them — and they did,” said Al Greco, a book publishing expert and professor of marketing at Fordham University's Graduate School of Business Administration. “Today, it looks like the big bang has hit and now the dinosaurs are in peril.”
  • Dissociated Press is a way of generating reams of metaphorgotten prose.
  • German Communist Thälmann (active during the Weimar Republic) was infamous for this. One of his (translatable) goofs: "The hour of the moment has arrived!"
  • Jon Stewart's tribute to Bruce Springsteen at the Kennedy Center Honors; "I believe that Bob Dylan and James Brown had a baby. Yes! And they abandoned this you can imagine at the time...interracial same-sex relationships being what they were..."
  • An online commenter, explaining how vaginas are a valuable commodity:
    "The girls, of course, have been trained to think that they can get away with just about anything as they possess the magic “V” which has a very high trading component as well as a social exchange rate, not unlike the Euro or an open ocean oil exploration license, but the magic “V” is more mobile and comes with its own carrier and operator, batteries not included, though."
  • German politician Edmund Stoiber is infamous for this. Plenty of YouTube videos are dedicated entirely to his derailing metaphors that start weird and go from there.
  • Whatever this tweet by the Chinese embassy in Ireland was suppose to be. It starts with the term "wolf warrior" (a term used critically to describe aggressive Chinese diplomats on social media) and goes downhill from there. The poster probably wanted to flip the comparison around around and call the west the wolf (by using a fable where a wolf stops at nothing to slander a sheep). But wolves are cool and we can't have China be a puny sheep!
  • A headline from The Sunday Times: Moscow does the time warp as Russian economy tumbles into deep freeze
  • About the electoral defeat of his party, former French president Nicolas Sarkozy said:
    I'll tell them that we received a kick to the behind, but it isn't because you want to flip the table that you should leave the car for which you neglected to choose the driver.


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